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Celebrating Earth Day, Oakland-style

In easy view of crisscrossing highways and towering industrial parks, dozens of people marched through East Oakland’s flatlands wearing white surgical masks on Saturday. Families pushing strollers, men in suits, and kids with skateboards walked from Tassafaronga Recreation Center to Acorn Woodland Elementary School to celebrate ‘Love Yo Mama’ Earth Day and to call attention to environmental degradation in inner city neighborhoods.

Alameda County readies pools for a safe summer

As the California heat begins to usher in the summer, as well as usher water enthusiasts into the swimming pools, counties, including Alameda County, are integrating a new federal law that will further protect people from accidental drownings in public pools and spas.

VIDEO: What’s in your box? CSA members look forward to spring

by Elise Craig and Brittney Johnson/Oakland North Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs are programs that allow consumers to skip the grocery store and buy their produce directly from farmers. Every week, subscribers get a box full of the fresh fruit and veggies of the season delivered to a pick up spot near their homes. Some CSAs even deliver free range eggs, farm-fresh cheese and flowers.

Oakland’s pushcart organizers fight illegal street vending

Pushcart vendors from Anna Bloom on Vimeo. By Anna Bloom/Special to Oakland North Emilia Otero, and her daughter, Shelly Garza, longtime organizers of food vendors in East Oakland, say they are seeing a marked increase in illegal street vending.

Organic Roots: From the rancho to the market

By Diana Montaño/Oakland North The tropical crops of Maria Inés Catalán’s youth don’t grow in Hollister. Instead of winding through the papaya and mango trees of her native Guerrero, Mexico, here, wearing black loafers caked in mud from the past week’s rain, she steps carefully over the kale, broccoli and artichoke plants that thrive in the Northern California winter.

Seniors and health care: The musical

By Elise Craig/Oakland North The patient, a gray-haired grandmother of 75, is unabashedly hitting on her twenty-something male nurse. “What are you going to do to me today?” she says coquettishly. “I’m going to start by taking your vitals, ” he says, trying to quash the flirtation. She cocks her head and flutters her eyelashes. “I think I’m going to need a bath.”

Linking public health to city planning

By Samson Reiny/Oakland North Many of Oakland’s community health problems can be traced to a history of bad city planning and land use, an expert from the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) said last Wednesday during a panel discussion at the American Institute of Architects East Bay offices in downtown Oakland.  Sandra Witt, the County’s deputy director of planning policy and health equity, referred often to a report published last year called “Life and Death from Unnatural Causes: Health…

Now 80, marathon runner plans to keep running

by BAGASSI KOURA In a ritual that started years ago, Richmond resident George French wakes up every other morning at 2:30 and runs 3 to 6 miles from his home toward El Cerrito BART, mainly along San Pablo Avenue. “At this hour, it is safe to run,” he says. “The streets are empty. There is no traffic. The only people I meet are the streetwalkers.” French is a restaurant manager, which is why he likes getting to work before dawn….

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